tv White House Chronicles WHUT May 6, 2011 6:00pm-6:30pm EDT
me, why the last thing that we shared in common through the media in this country was a wedding in london. otherwise, we each get our own a splinter of news which enforces what we already believed. at least we will be looking at those things. from pigeons with the news strapped to their legs to today's instant communications. we will be back with some great conversations. >> this program is made possible by arizona public service, which is building the largest solar
electric station in the world in the arizona desert. i promised you a great team of great disk pewters about news and some of whom have actually succeeded in holding a job in the news business at several months at a time. linda gasparello managed to hold a job as the alternative host of this program for 15 years, congratulations. adam clayton powell the third of the university of southern california, director of washington policy initiative. his history in journalism is long, including working for nbc, writing books, running npr. >> these jobs just kept changing on me.
>> i have changed myself, i cannot say that the job changed. i was asked to take my extraordinary talent to another place. adam belmar of quinn gillespie, a politics forum, here in washington. and of course, the host of polyoptics on sirius, per our broadcast is, as is your program. it is a great program. it is a great pleasure to introduce for the first time gazbiah rahaman of the john hopkins school of the advanced international studies. welcome to the board. please ignore these bitter,
twisted things. >> i and the fresh take on everything? >> yes, this is the beginning of your corruption. it starts at this table in front of these cameras this very minute. i said i would do a bit of the history of technology in journalism. one of the big thing back. modern journalism is in the summer of 1840, western europe and america, education became universal. more and more education as a consequence 20 years later. newspapers made fortunes in many places, but it was slow going because monotype was rather slow and newspapers were restricted to eight pages. then we were able to produce
better, well into the 1970's. all of a sudden, newspapers were off and running because you could have justified type in a factory situation, and you could do it quickly. at one time, there were 20 daily newspapers in new york, london, and elsewhere. and the speed of the collection of news went up. they used to tie white papers to the legs of these pigeons, hoping that a half from an alternative newspaper did not eat your pigeon. and then, of course, "the telegraph" came along and everything changed. there were various things done by anchorman's to make things go faster. in britain, to help the news
service, and there was a common table right. likewise, when we talk about the government helping publishing, it has been going on for a long time. nitpicker rates at the post office. it is all garment subsidies. we tend to forget how subsidized we have been in the past. then along comes a radio. it fits in nicely, not too intrusive, does not kill off too many newspapers. it does kill of some magazine because it goes there. then came television. knocked out evening newspapers. morning newspapers came very strong and we thought that they were here and eternal, and along comes the internet. so, adam, where do we go from there? >> the history that you just laid out is as important as it
is, it should not put us in a box. we should not think about the media in a 20th-century perspective. going forward, i believe if you have an internet site, if you are a corp., a politician, even an individual, you have a broadcast outlet. quite literally, and conventional senses, you have a television platform. the same for companies with intranet. all of our communication is going towards broadcasting, bringing visual content, the spoken word, real-time communication forward. everyone is a broadcaster. ultimately, it is incumbent upon entities to know that no one is going to better tell their stories than they can. we see the white house doing this today. taking new rules about how they disseminate the information. quite frankly, they have
disenfranchised a lot of the traditional news press in order to do that. >> linda, with what adam is saying, are we giving people something to inflation and sustain their precipices while giving them the news? it seems curiosity in the news has declined. world affairs were wonderful things. everybody wou they can to get to them. the last one that really worked in the country was in new york in 1963. now that is over. people are besieged with information. i was not joking when i said that the last thing that we all knew about was the royal wedding. if you like baseball, you watched baseball channels, got special tweets on baseball. so there is no national commonality. you find yourself having more
commonality with someone in hong kong then someone down the street. >> even with how you set this up, we had commonalities with people reading newspapers. then people huddled around a new radio. then people huddled around a television set. now it is much more dispersed. some people -- >> so what is the effect on society? >> it means you have many interests collide on all the time, individualized interests. there are fewer common interests because everybody is off reading or viewing their own thing. i think that is a product of the fact that there are so many devices from which we can do our own thing. >> adam, what is the price we pay for this? >> in your history, you mentioned there were at one time 20 newspapers in new york. about eight of them we got our house. but it was very much like your
description of the current situation. what people were doing was reading the newspaper that agreed with them. you had "the new york post" as the most liberal, a number of conservative ones. there was one that was for irish americans. >> and then there were jewish papers. >> exactly. it is almost back to the future. there may have been this moment of mass media, which certainly was not the case in 18th- century, and perhaps not in the 21st. >> you are not troubled by all of this media, magazines -- where do you see this? >> i think we have all have those situations where we argue with the tv set -- i do not agree with what the commentator
is saying! now we have a new forum. we can interact with the media, but at the same time, there needs to be a delineation between what is journalism, what is news, as opposed to what is infotainment. >> do you get that in the news? is everything tumbled up? we were at the conference together. one of the things we heard is there are more people making opinions on less and less body. the actual input of news is declining while the in bit about that news is exploding. i want to take a moment to identify this program, which is coming to you from washington, d.c.. this is "white house chronicle." we would like to say hello to our wonderful listeners on sirius xm radio, which graciously carries this program at 9:30 eastern time.
we would also like to remind our viewers on public and public access stations -- public access station are greatly overlooked when we talk about media but there are about 1200 of them. we are on about 400 of them. a marvelous way to talk to the local people. so a shout out to the public access stations. and if you are overseas, you may be watching this program on one of the english channel of the voice of america. coming back, i do not understand where we are going. we get less and less, faster and faster, more and more opinion. >> everything is turning to hand held, on demand, portable. it is interesting to see
parallels. your history may not repeat itself, but it may rhine. -- rhyme. for example, revolutions in egypt, tunisia, to some extent, iran, definitely syria -- not talking about today, but 1919. it was on driven by that device called the telegram. we have seen this happen before. where this goes in the middle east, it may mean less stability. in our politics, you almost have a feeling that something is about to shift. nothing has happened yet, except politicians are raising a lot of money on the internet. >> i agree that we are increasingly segmented. people have their own needs and there are many places to find content to suit you. i go back to the point that people have been enfranchised.
broadcasters themselves, -- twitter is an evidence of this. it goes to the philosophy that everything may have been said, but not everybody has said it. i tend to think, for the time being, we need to continue to watch how companies and people monetize the new media. how can you make money doing it? what will keep the networks and newspapers, those who are occupying news gathering on the internet, alive, in terms of money? i think it comes to what adams said. if we are on demand, in our own hands and portable, we are also logged in. we are self identified. we are no longer anonymous people to whom broadcasters reach out. all of the people who are looking to market to us know who we are, where we were, what we and they knowike,
exactly where we are. so all of this capability to reach people directly impacts how the news business and media, at large, will continue. >> i would like to go around the table to see how we are using the internet to get news. i suspect we will find between the five of us, it has got to do with generation. i will start by saying i tend to read, but on the internet, what i read, when i can get them -- i do not actually read anything that i did not know of. in that sense, i have been traditional. i really only go to a couple of the big names, the daily beast, huffington post, common carriers of blogs, really. i do not really know where to go so i read "the washington post,"
"the guardian." i have always read these things but now i read them in a different way. you, being the youngest of us, being in the post-paper generation, as a post-paperian, what do you read in the morning? >> i listen to npr in the morning. i read "the new york times" and "the economist" other than that, i ventured out in terms of what my interests are. >> tell us some of those interests, without embarrassing yourself. >> i will try to do that. >> of course, we would not mind if you did. >> i tend to write on political risk insulting. i do a lot of reading with "the economist" and things of that
nature. i have written my thesis on counter-terrorism, so i tend to do some reading in that area as well. other than that, areas that i am interested in reading in -- >> are you on twitter, facebook? >> i am not. i am on facebook. >> i am on facebook but i do not know how to do anything, so i am not helping the cause. >> my reading has a lot to do with places where i know there is an ombudsman, where facts are checked. it is hard for me to read blogs because they often just comment on news. when they stray from just commenting but they read in newspapers or in magazines, have seen on television, then i really wonder if that information is reliable. i really one reliability. i do not know who the ombudsman
is for the internet. once there is an ombudsman for the internet -- a bunch of you are the ombudsman. -- >> you are the ombudsman. >> i go to what i feel are the reliable for sources, where i know that facts are checked in some way, where reporters can be fired. it might be traditional and old- fashioned, but it has served me well. >> but you also read in different and languages -- in different languages. >> yes, i do read establishment papers. the problem is they have what are called semi-official papers. >> so they do exactly what the government tells them to do. adam, tell us about your day on the internet. >> a day in the life of the adam belmar, media consumption? >> not that far, just related to
the internet. >> i love the new technology, we embrace it and use it for business a great deal. i like the aggregating sites. i am always on the drudge report. i am a washingtonian, so i am always at fishbowl d.c.. i love the news, so i get a lot of news from cbs on wtop. i am a foreign news producer, so i watch the best i can the morning news shows, the evening news, and it is the newspapers -- like you, llewellyn -- i would read some of the papers on line. "washington post," "wall street journal." google, who is dominating our lives has a personal service called igoogle and it lets me
abrogate all of the things that i like. whether it is defense policy or what. you get these niche prints to your blackberrys. it is easy to get the latest column. it comes directly to my blackberry. that is my television set these days. >> interesting. i find it totally terrifying. i would not change anything i am doing with what your doing. i do not really like gadgets that much. of get it, ind cannot get into it. i am just about walking around with a cell phone that does not do anything except make and receive telephone calls, but this is clearly my omission. what is this doing to society?
are we losing our commonalities? do we have a purpose in communities, besides happenstance chilly we live there, when in fact we are communicating with people across the globe most of the day? >> i am close of my family even though some live in massachusetts, some in michigan. i am on facebook because my of myhildrekids post pictures grandchildren. it is not just about posting pictures of cute kids, but it is effective with journalists. there are about 15 others that i am part of a group of, and they will point to different things. >> we are going to exhaust our resources to find out who they are. >> it is probably rather easy. but i hit 15 newspaper before
leaving the house in the morning. i love real clear politics, politico. >> another alligator of polls where they also have original content, but as linda said, veracity is important, making sure that people are held accountable for the news they are reporting. >> on the internet, you can go to the source. if there is a headline on real clear politics, there is a link that goes to the gallup poll. >> and before you know it, you are deep into the news. >> is television going to be the first victim? because of drive time, radio is somewhat protected. until we find out a way to put cars on automatic power. >> as adam was saying, i think
it already has. i think we know that. because all of this is paid for through advertising, with the exception of public broadcasting, which is already well into a defunding process. i think television is a place where sponsors can find what they are looking for in a much more narrow way, pay less for it. so therefore, the traditional network model, as we know, will largely be going away. >> i wonder, does this not create a new ruling class of an informed minority, and inform elite that runs things, while others are comforted with spirits knowledge about sports, these many splinter things? >> it can create a splintering
in just the gadget have and have nots. the people that have the latest things and are very facile with them tend to have a broad range of knowledge. they can quickly find things and communicate. whereas, people who do not have the ability really have to rely on -- >> is this knowledge in the fingertips or knowledge in the head? >> you are getting knowledge through your fingertips, through that dexterity. i would like to say, the one thing about the old newspaper, reading in the old-fashioned way, you will read things by chance. when you open a sheet this way, you read across two sheets. you see something on page 2 that is on foreign affairs -- >> i notice on yahoo!, they are doing the same thing. it may drag you into some place that you may not go otherwise.
>> you should read those things because your eyes wander from one page to the next. that is something that i lament with this. i see a lot of people not opening up a paper to get that. >> i had the luck to work at the bbc when it exploded into wild things, not in its news, but in its entertainment, which is how we got all of those wonderful satirical programs that changed so much in the 1960's. it was the end of formality. it was the beginning of a certain way of looking at things. are we as creative today? i went through this conference with one of my friends here and i did not hear anybody talk about talent, creativity, rod genius -- raw genius, lunacy.
all the madness that goes with making great television, newspapers. all i heard about was aggregating. >> will you were probably not out south by southwest. all of these creative an insane people on the internet. >> apparently, because i did not know where to find it on the internet. >> it is not generals fighting the last war, but it is just about how we are hard wired. if you look at what is coming -- every year, i used to go to laboratories around the country. if you look at what is coming, by the end of this year, -- i actually have a beta that i can show you after the program. you can download to your computer, which will operate
over your plain vanilla wi-fi service, and it will give you 720p high-definition television two ways. think about what that will do for your creativity than that we haveskype. sjype. skype. >> you do not need a lot of machines to do that. you need some kind of magic. >> i think we will have creativity with the gadgets that we have. creativity in how we communicate. creativity in what people are saying, writing, that is where we are lacking creativity. >> you are talking about news specifically? >> yes. >> 15 seconds, mr. belmar. >> watch the money and politics.
best practices tend to stem from both of those. will be a telling moment of where we will be going. >> this program has been made possible by arizona public service, a leader in renewable energy. that is our program. thank you all for coming. thank you for watching. see you next week. good fun on the gadgets, but if all else fails, get an old- fashioned newspaper. cheers!